The Chandigarh municipal corporation’s mayoral elections were a clear example of “united we stand, divided we fall” with the Congress managing to retain the mayor’s seat for eighth consecutive time.
The Congress also won the post of deputy mayor, while the post of senior deputy mayor was bagged by the BJP.
The win gave the Congress a reason to cheer after its defeat in the Lok Sabha elections in May last year. Even though the Congress had only nine councillors in the MC House, they managed to get nothing less than 17 votes for the mayor’s post.
Party workers gave credit to the efforts of former Member of Parliament Pawan Bansal and local unit party chief BB Bahl. Party councillors Subhash Chawla, Pardeep Chhabra, Mukesh Bassi, besides former mayor Ravinder Pal Singh and party leaders Devinder Babla and HS Lucky, also played an important role in getting those extra votes towards the Congress camp.
Prior to the elections on Tuesday, a meeting chaired by Bahl was organised where all councillors were issued instructions and the final permutation and combinations were discussed. The Congress managed to get hold of three crucial votes — two from the BSP councillors and that of an independent councillor. They also worked on ensuring votes from nominated councillors.
BJP THREATENED 3 CONG COUNCILLORS: BANSAL
Former Congress MP Pawan Kumar Bansal said, “The victory of Congress candidates on two of the three mayoral posts clearly gives out a message that even after resorting to immoral tactics, the BJP cannot win the mayor’s seat. They cajoled, coaxed or threatened three Congress councillors to win them over to their side. There should be, in fact, anti-defection law to check such switchovers.
Primarily, the Congress councillors who joined the BJP midterm of the House should have resigned and get reelected. Even after engineering defection, the BJP could not get victorious. Senior BJP leaders doubt integrity of their councillors.” Crediting the good work of Congress mayors in the past, Bansal said, “The party has been delivering that is why the mayors won for the past eight years.”
He demanded that there should be anti-defection law and open voting in mayoral polls. The term of mayor should be extended from one to two-andhalf years.
The elected councillors should be given executive powers. Bansal also took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said he should draw distinction between a prime minister and a prime ministerial candidate. “The PM does not look good casting comments on other parties.”